Shaping Open Innovation for Smart Cities

ICT 2013, the event on digital technologies and ICT organized by the European Commission, took place in Vilnius (Lithuania) from the 6th to the 8th of November, 2013. 5.000 people attended the conference and visited the exhibition, including 80 highly rated international speakers. Around 200 stands and 180 networking sessions were open for the visitors.

During this event CitySDK cooperated with other two CIP PSP ICT Smart City projects (Open Cities and Commons4Europe) and ENoLL (the European Network of Living Labs) to present a session called “Shaping Open Innovation for Smart Cities”. The session had the goal to raise awareness and provide concrete tools for city authorities to locally execute open innovation. This was done through showing key examples of successful implementation work towards boosting innovative cross-border applications and services in cities, and stimulating the development of a new digital businesses and start-ups by strong engagement, thus also enabling cities to capture the expertise of developers and web-entrepreneurs. The session targeted a heterogeneous public including open innovation communities, city officers, academic researchers, web developers and policy makers.

After the introduction made by the session coordinator Marja Mattila (Forum Virium Helsinki) Katalin Gallyas (City of Amsterdam) underlined how Open innovation offers a way to create a more participatory city government
and make use of the novel ICT solutions while enhancing the creativity of the city based entrepreneurs, hackers, civic innovators. Open innovation can also stimulate the dialogue between citizens and City governments so as to enhance collaboration and a more effective welfare. The relevance of Open Innovation for urban strategies was further emphasized by Marja Mattila who operationalized the concept by introducing the CitySDK project, its 3 Pilots (Smart Participation, Mobility and Tourism) and the City Service Development Kit. The tool provides cities and regions with a flexible technology and stimulates developers through a complete set of information, scalable services and a global community. The Hackathonist, a Smart City Hackathon for the city of Istanbul organized within the CitySDK environment was then presented by Leyla Arsan (TAGES) and its achievements were discussed. The goal of offering better services to the citizens through open innovation was finally deepened by the Code4Europe’s presentation. This initiative aims at strengthening experimentation and prototyping in the public sector using open tools, new technologies and fostering developer community engagement.

An interested public actively followed the session and stimulated the speakers with several questions that tackled different topics such as the challenge of involving seniors not so familiar with technology, the still existing lack of trust between the people living in cities and the city Governments, the heterogeneous audiences to the city developed services, and the need for the cities to adapt new business models and blur their boundaries in order to include external stakeholders.

Workshop presentations available here

Text: Ana Garcia and Paolo Aversano, Enoll


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